Sunday, February 19, 2023



Above is the photograph and video description of the Nagara fort near shimoga (Shivamogga). This fort was originally built in the beginning of the 17th century by Ikkeri Nayaks of the Keladi dynasty and later went into the hands of Hyder Ali and later into the hands of Tippu Sultan and finally to the English. Kammaran nambiar alias Hyat Sahib alias Mohammed Ayaz Khan was a Governor here for may be a decade or more enjoying sovereign powers. Kammaran Nambiar is from chirakkal in Cannanore(Kannur) and is our ancestor. Hence my interest in this fort.

This fort can simply be described as a hillock on a hill spanning some twenty acres with steep precipices very much on the Western Ghat mountains.. The idea behind hosting such a fort here could be that it has a natural advantage against cannon fire as it is difficult to hoist cannons on these hilly stretches. Hyat Sahib had named this place Hyder Nagara and with exit of the Mysore rulers the name changed to Nagara.It is also called Bendore.

Nagara is basically a very small village some eighty kilometers from Shimoga on the Western Ghat mountains. Yonder it is some fifty kilometers from the Arabian sea coast.The fort forms an ideal refuge for its proximity to the sea.It is basically a god forsaken place with minimal population.The nearest major town is Hosanagara some twenty kilometers from here towards Shimoga.Hosanagara is sixty kilometers from Shimoga. Much of the forests in this area have been cleared with modern tree cutting machines and have given space for agriculture.On the way to Hosanagara from Shimoga is a place called RIPPONPET named in honour of the Viceroy of India Lord Rippon.

With the sudden death of Hyder Ali the fortunes of Mohammed Ayaz Khan changed drastically. There was huge wealth in the  form of  gold stored  within this  fort. Tippu Sultan had formed a  squad to assassinate Mohammed Ayaz Khan . Mohammed Ayaz Khan gave the fort into the hands of the British and in return got a safe passage to Mumbai (Bombay). He possibly descended the western ghats into Kollur and to the sea shore from where he was  ferried by sea to Mumbai.  

Tuesday, February 14, 2023



I had visited this structure recently and thought it un-just if I do not make some note of what I really saw.Gol-Gombuz which could mean " a round masoleum" has its architectural insight and inspiration from Turkish art of the Ottaman empire and was told took forty years to build and is basically a tomb of the kings of Bijapur.

Vijayapura previously known as Bijapur is the host to this structure and the entire city of Bijapur has various similar structures built by the Kings of Bijapur who could be of Turkish origins. Gol-Gombus is basically a rectangular structure some two hundred feet high on which rests a large dome some hundred feet high. It is spectacular in many ways. A very narrow alley of stairs which can house one person can be seen at the four corners and is a well designed  and engineered construction. I happenned to climb the entire stretch slowly but carefully and a view of the gardens from above is pleasant and fascinating.

People can climb the stairs on one extreme and alight from another extreme. The fact that such a meticulous structure was erected with high degree of engineering precision is a matter of praise.

A word of Caution: I found inadequate security staff maintaining the internals of this monument. People dont understand  how exactly to reach the top and alight..adequate security personnel must be provided by the Government who are pro-active to guide people through the entry and exit routes or in the event of some confusion a stampede could result which could have serious conscequences.